Telefónica Creates AI Aura Around Pay-TV

Movistar will be getting smarter next year, according to Telefónica. The company announced that its pay-TV service will be incorporating the Aura Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform next year, allowing for more intuitive management of their digital experience by customers.

The announcement follows the launch of Aura at Mobile World Congress in February this year, where Telefónica described it as its "transformative fourth platform." (See Telefónica's Answer to Apple's Siri: Aura.)

A digital assistant service of a sort, Aura helps customers manage their digital services and interactions with Telefónica, and control the data created by using those services transparently. According to Telefónica, this makes it the first telecom operator to manage the relationship with customers based on cognitive intelligence.

Aura will help customers gain more control and a better understanding of the personal information involved with transactions with the company, while also helping with personalization and relevant recommendations for new services. This could be particularly relevant for pay-TV services at Movistar, where a range of titles offered across live and VoD, and across various devices, can get bewildering for consumers. Having an AI tool that analyzes prior behavior and usage to more effectively suggest new titles could help improve customer experience, and thereby add value to the pay-TV service.

The deployment of Aura is the latest step in a €48 billion ($63.5 billion) process of digitization undertaken by the company over the past five years, enhancing network and other infrastructure, integrating and improving back-office systems and rolling out new digital services.

Before Aura the company was not "making cognitive sense" of the data from the other three platforms -- networks and infrastructure, back-office and other IT systems, and products and services delivery. Essentially by collating data from all three and analyzing it, the Aura AI platform can help increase visibility and transparency for both the customer and the operator, which should result in better customer value and experience.

Next year's new Aura-enhanced Movistar service will allow ecommerce transactions and social media interactions, including sharing of videos directly through the TV itself. And it will also integrate live voting as well as personalized advertising.

Plus, Telefónica is also adding a couple of additional features to the service. It will be upgrading to 4K from April 2018 onwards, and the new platform includes voice recognition, so viewers can navigate their pay-TV options by using voice instead of a remote control.

— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

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